Remembering a Legend

By GSD&M Co-Founder and Chairman Roy Spence and Group Creative Director David Crawford

As we complete this week, David Crawford and I would like to share, as a Tribute to the brilliant and remarkable Robin Williams, a quick story about GSD&M, MTV, Rock the Vote and Robin Williams.

In the 1996 elections, Judy Trabulsi’ s nephew Mark Strama was heading up Rock The Vote for MTV to try and increase the turnout among young people. Mark asked us if GSD&M could do the campaign and of course we said yes. Of the many TV spots we produced, the one with Robin Williams was the star.

Here’s David’s account of the experience…

Our long time agency friend and Executive Producer Natalie Freedman from Los Angeles partnered with Rock the Vote Executive Director Ricki Seidman. Together they worked with us pulling together celebrities and getting all of the production donated. We did seven or eight spots for Rock the Vote using celebrities and musicians such as Seal, John Popper of Blues Traveler, Steve Young, Joan Osborne, Drew Barrymore, Goo Goo Dolls, etc. A former GSD&Mer, Mariella Krause, was the writer on the  Robin Williams spot. Of course you don’t really ‘write’ for Robin Williams. You just sort of have a loose outline. During the shoot, Robin had the camera man laughing so hard he couldn’t hold the camera steady. Otherwise he was as nice and as normal of a guy as you’d ever meet. The director of this work was Bruce Cohen who went on to produce Oscar winner “American Beauty” as well as best picture nominated films “Milk” and “Silver Linings Playbook” more recently.


Robin Williams is a true Legend, and we’re grateful to have shared this GSD&M moment in time with him.

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